Attorney for Former Slipknot Percussionist Says Chris Fehn “Was Presented with a Very Onerous Take-It-Or-Leave-It, You’re-Not-An-Equal-Member-Of-The-Band-Type Proposal”


So our buddy Brian Storm from Rock Feed scored an interview with Joel Rothman, one of the attorneys representing Chris Fehn in his lawsuit against his now-former band, Slipknot. Obviously, there’s only so much Rothman can say on record, seeing as this is an ongoing case, but Brian did get some interesting intel out of the lawyer. Like the fact that Fehn allegedly wasn’t even allowed into the studio to record his parts for the band’s new album until he agreed to sign a highly unfavorable contract (transcript via Metal Injection):

“First of all, the lawsuit came about because in order for Chris to continue to participate in the band and attend recording sessions for the album that the band is working on, he was presented with a very onerous take-it-or-leave-it, you’re-not-an-equal-member-of-the-band-type proposal. And I’m not gonna go into the details of it, but let me put it this way. If you had spent twenty years of your life devoted to an enterprise like Slipknot, where you had given your heart, your soul, your sweat, your blood, your tears to making the band the best it could be the way that so many of its fans love, and then you were told you were a second-class citizen here, I doubt that anyone who’s listening to this would feel any differently from the way Chris felt, which was that he wasn’t being given the respect that he deserved. And in speaking with his [other] attorneys, what we saw was that Chris, from the beginning of Slipknot, was treated like an equal, and it wasn’t until later, after the band had experienced success, that they began to treat Chris like less than that equal. And we looked at that, and we said, ‘Well, that doesn’t seem fair,’ based on the facts as we understood them that he began as an equal partner in the band in the beginning, and he should continue to be treated in that same fashion.”

Rothman also slammed one of Slipknot’s business managers, Rob Shore — also named in Fehn’s suit — for allegedly helping Corey Taylor and Shawn “Clown” Crahan retain a larger-than-owed slice of the pie:

“What appears to have been going on is that management for the band appears to have been doing two things. Number one, representing individual members of the band while representing the band as a whole where their loyalties to individual members interfere with their ability to represent the whole band, especially if members of the band aren’t being treated equally. So we noticed that going on. And we also noticed that information about the band and the band’s activities was being withheld by management from some bandmembers, like Chris, but not from others. And as a result of that, we looked not only at whether Slipknot, the group, wasn’t being fair to Chris but whether Slipknot’s business management, Rob Shore’s company, whether they weren’t being fair to Chris.”

Rothman also made a statement for which he can’t really be blamed — he is Fehn’s lawyer, after all — but which I suspect may elicit snickers from many fans:

“The suggestion that Chris did something personally to any member of the band, Chris rejects. The suggestion that Chris isn’t up to it musically is absolutely false. In fact, it’s our position that the band is going to miss Chris on the recordings it’s doing, the compositions it makes. There’s a reason why Chris is one of the composers on all the band’s work, why he is an important background vocalist and percussionist on all the band’s recordings, and for anyone to suggest that he doesn’t make a valuable contribution, I think, is gonna be absurd to anyone who follows the band.”

It actually will seem absurd to most people who follow the band (and the metal community at large), I think. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe we’ll hear the new Slipknot album in August and be like “Oh my Gray, it’s garbage without Chris!!!”, but I feel like if they survived the loss of Paul and Joey, they’ll survive the loss of Chris, too. I mean… “he is an important background vocalist”? Oh yeah, we’re all really gonna miss those three part harmony gang shouts on “People = Shit.”

Check out the entire interview below.

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